Pittsburgh Pirates Update Part 2

Okay, continuing where I left off yesterday. Today, I’m going to look at some of the best starting pitchers, relief pitchers, and closers that we have this season.

Starting Pitchers

1. Francisco Liriano

Franky is one of the best pitchers that we have. Sometimes he can be really on his game and other times he can be a little off and start to throw crazy pitches. He’s not really the type of guy who always shuts you down but he’s still crazy talented nonetheless. He’s had a lot of success here with the Pirates and I definitely expect that to continue. Hopefully, he gets even more controlled and on the ball but either way, he’s still a quality member to the team.

2. Gerrit Cole

This young pitcher was recognized by everyone when the high school prospect did well during his major league debut. The pitcher has continued to turn up the heat and to impress. The big issue with Cole is that he seems to get rattled easier than some of the other more seasoned pitchers. He’s still a young kid with a lot of growing room left. He hasn’t been sent down since he came up to the majors and I highly doubt he will again. He gets outs when he needs to and he’s kind of the same as Liriano in the respect that when he’s on, batters need to be worried. But he’s off, wild pitches can really hurt the Pirates.

3. Jeff Locke

Another starter who’s still fairly young. Locke was an all-star not long ago and after that, he kind of lost his control for awhile. But I think he’s definitely gotten it back to an extent and he’s shown more control than in the past. Like the previous pitchers mentioned, he just needs to stay composed and not let his pitch get out of control. He gives up a lot of walks which seems to be the case for the majority of the starting pitchers. He’s an all-star for a reason, this lefty is one to watch for sure.

4. A.J. Burnett

A.J. was one of the best and most reliable pitchers for this ball club before he left for Philadelphia. Burnett took Edinson Volquez’s spot in the rotation. Volquez was arguably the most consistent pitcher we had last season and he will be missed. But still, it’s nice to have A.J. back since he knows what he’s doing and we have a lot of trust in him as a pitcher. He didn’t have the best season with the Phillies but he didn’t have the worst either. We can only hope that 2013 A.J. will be back and he can finish his career on a high note here in Pittsburgh.

5. Vance Worley

This young pitcher is filling in for Charlie Morton- another one of our best, who’s currently on the DL. Charlie needs to get back to Pittsburgh but Vance isn’t the worst pitcher either. He’s no Charlie (Charlie on a good day I mean) but he still has potential and it’s nice that the ball club is giving him a chance to prove himself as the starting guy for now anyway. Hopefully he can impress us a little bit more and secure a couple of wins along the way.

Relief pitchers

Tony Watson

Sometimes it can be hard to understand why Tony Watson is in the games at certain times. For instance, if he gives up a homerun and still remains in the game, or something similar to that. Truthfully, I can remember more negative moments of Watson’s than the positive but he still is a trusted relief pitcher who typically can get us through the game and to the closers.

I don’t know many of the other relief pitchers since Justin Wilson is no longer with the Pirates and we have some new players. So I’m just going to stick to talking about only Tony and move on to the big closer spot.

Mark Melancon

It can be hard to want him in the game sometimes because he can make some costly errors to say the least. But Melancon is also pretty close to the closer that Jason Grilli was. It may not always be pretty, but he typically manages to get the outs needed and at the end of day that’s all that really matters. He has the same amount of saves as Grilli and that’s pretty impressive since there was a lot of hype behind Grilli during his time as a closer in Pittsburgh. So when he’s doing good, it’s easy to cheer for Melancon.

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Pittsburgh Pirates Updates

So I’m already getting a little bored/not sure what direction to go in with this theme. So I figured I’d just stick to talking about what I know best, sports! Okay, I don’t know as much as I would like to but it’s something I enjoy talking about and there’s a lot of news to uncover in it. So right now, I’m going to talk a little about the Pittsburgh Pirates. The organization was fairly respected back when Barry Bonds was on the team. But it gradually went down over the years and didn’t show any signs of hope until a hot prospect from Florida named Andrew McCutchen began playing for the Pirates and they really ended up building the team around him. He’s definitely a star and this season, he’s started out as good as ever, except Saturday night he set himself out of the game in the 9th inning due to a knee injury. However, he’s shown that his knee is better and has started since that night. McCutchen has previously started out pretty much every season ready to go and hasn’t in general been setback by injuries. Fingers crossed that this lucky trend continues.

We all know the potential that McCutchen shows and has shown these past 7 seasons, there are also other players on the Pirates team that should also be singled out. The Pirates have one of the best outfields in the MLB right now. One of those spots obviously belongs to Andrew McCutchen but younger players Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco take the other two spots. Marte is one impressive player and has showed tremendous growth as he enters his third full season of playing in the big leagues. He has a ridiculously high number of home runs and steals, plus his on base percentage is also good. Polanco was one of the best minor league players and moving him up to the big leagues was a smart move to say the least. He’s still getting his footing in the big leagues but that doesn’t say he isn’t impressive, he certainly is and he probably has the most room left to grow out of these three guys.

Josh Harrison is one of my personal favorite players besides McCutchen. Harrison has never been a big all-star or a guy who’s received a lot of hype. He’s a player who worked his way out of the minors gradually. I remember him a couple of seasons ago only being in the game when he was a pinch runner during the games. He’s come miles since those days. However, he still has been thrown around to practically every position out there on the field, which goes to show you how adaptable and talented Josh is. He’s just a quality hitter who has the ability to sneak up when you least expect it and get a home run out of you. He’s certainly a big time threat and I love how humble he is.

There are many other players that I want to talk about. I’m just going to mention some other key players including: Pedro Alvarez, Jordy Mercer, and Neil Walker. These are all guys that are okay and pretty good infielders (Alvarez is the one who notably has some crazy random errors every now and then) who are even better hitters. Walker and Mercer aren’t known for being as powerful as Alvarez (nicknamed El Toro because he’s so strong and awesome) but they are still solid players that the Pirates depend on. The Pirates are still working out the whole catcher situation since losing one of the best catchers around Russell Martin.

I haven’t gotten the chance to touch on all of the starting, relief pitchers, and closing pitchers that I really want to. So I’m just going to save a whole post to talk about that situation. But this is what I’ve come up with so far so I hope that gives you an introduction to the Pirates that you may (probably not) want to know in case you end up watching a game or something like that. But anyway, I’ll shut up now but thank you for reading my rambles!

Best Walk-Up Songs

There’s a certain kind of excitement that comes from a baseball player stepping up to bat with a really cool song playing in the background. Not very much of it is going to play so it has to be a familiar riff that people know and gives a sort of hint at how awesome it is. It’s also a song that pumps people up and gets them ready for your at bat. There are several songs in particular that stand out to me as being the best walk-up songs. Some of these I have heard quite a few times while at the baseball field during both high school and MLB games. Some of them I think should be played at games at all different levels.

1. Back In Black by ACDC

I remember hearing this song at a high school baseball song and I thought the kid at bat was the coolest person ever. He may have not even picked the song but it was that edginess and just how awesome the riff of the song is that left a mark on me. It’s definitely the perfect walk-up song due to the fact that it leaves a lasting impression on you.

2. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

Another awesome rock anthem that most people should know. I think this is the ideal one by Nirvana even though there are so many songs by them that would leave a positive mark on the listeners. This is the type of song that makes you pay attention to what’s going on in the game.

3. POWER by Kanye West

I’m sure you know which part of the song I’m referring to. It’s the instrumental part that you hear before Kanye comes in with the lyrics. That alone is just a sick beat that is familiar yet still has that unique quality to it that makes it an enjoyable walk-up song.

4. Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

Obviously not an upbeat rock or rap anthem, it’s a pop ballad. But it’s also a song that everyone knows. Everyone is going to start singing alone to the song if it’s your at bat song and they won’t even notice if you screw up! Of course, they may not notice if you do really well, but then again, if you choose this song as your at bat song, people may want to watch you for that reason alone.

5. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes

It’s an essential anthem that’s familiar in many different sports, especially football but who said it couldn’t be in baseball too? It’s got one of the sickest riff ever.

6. I Can’t Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones

If this song is your at bat, you’ll definitely find yourself satisfied. It’s got one of the best guitar riffs from Keith Richards and that’s for sure the part that should be included in any walk-up song since it’s the part everyone knows and loves.

7. Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen

This song directly references to baseball. It’s also just a downright great song about a guy who looked back on high school as being the best times of his life.

8. Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys

Okay, a lot of the ballpark may not know this song. It’s only a few years old via the British rock band Arctic Monkeys. They have been around for nearly a decade but haven’t reached the same popularity in America that they’ve reached back home. However, this guitar part of the song is one of the catchiest I’ve heard that’s actually pretty current. It sends a message and it’s not too much, it’s just enough.

9. Enter Sandman by Metallica

Another song that’s big in football, this one is also a great walk-up song. Many people are at least familiar with some of the song so it’s a great way to get the crowd interested in your at bat.

10. White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane

I was going to go with their song “Somebody To Love” but I figured “White Rabbit” was a wee bit trippier and also more memorable. It’s just a cool song to listen to no matter where you are or what you’re doing and it’s awesome coming from a ballpark too. It’s also the most out there on the list which is why it’s a walk-up song you’d want to have.

 

End Of March & Intro To April

Hey! I’ve loved writing about this month’s theme education all month. Hopefully you’ve learned some random facts or something like that. The month of April is going to be about sports: organized and unorganized. April marks the kick off to baseball season. While some of you may not care about it since this isn’t a sports blog, there’s still interesting stories and facts about baseball. I’m sorry if you find it boring, but hopefully you at least enjoy a good sports movie. I mean, Sandlot is a classic and I’ll definitely be talking about it a number of times during the month.

I plan on dedicating a lot of lists to different sports. For instance, I’m going to have a list of the ultimate sports movies then break some down by the main sports. I also plan on profiling athletes that everyone keeps talking about. For books this month, I’m going to talk about the best nonfiction sports books: both memoirs and biographies. There’s not a lot of great fiction sports books so I’m just going to do it that way.

This is just a little preview of what is to come. I plan on talking a little more about why I chose this theme and why you should care about it. That’s about it! Hope you guys stay with me this month.

End Of The Month & Introducing March

The month has been all about love and the different types that we find. I didn’t get too personal here but I hope that my recommendations are helpful to you! I’ll talk more about March and what all to expect tomorrow. But I just wanted to share some of my ideas here now. March has a whole week of spring break which I’ll talk about a lot in my posts. The main theme is just going to be education. Some important things to learn, guides, lists, all that sort of stuff. There will also be a lot of recommendations that I find helpful and hopefully you will enjoy.